Premera Blue Cross announced Thursday that it is requiring approximately 2,000 employees at its Mountlake Terrace and Bothell campuses to work from home starting Monday, March 9 in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
According to Steve Kipp, Premera’s vice president of corporate communications, the remote working arrangement is scheduled to last until March 24 but could go longer. “We will make that decision as we get closer to March 24, depending on events,” he said. While the requirement applies to most employees, there will be exceptions made for some workers who have to do their work in the office, primarily those working in IT, finance, real estate, facilities and human resources, he added.
Kipp said that Premera employees were notified of the decision at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Premera’s corporate headquarters is in Mountlake Terrace but the health insurance company also has offices in Anchorage and Spokane, in addition to the North Creek campus in Bothell. It’s “business as usual” at the Anchorage and Spokane offices, Kipp said.
Premera is also suspending business travel for its employees, Kipp said.
Facility cleaning will occur during the closure, although Premera has already been doing extra cleaning, he said.
Premera doesn’t anticipate that the work-from-home requirement will cause any disruption of services. That’s because several hundred of the company’s customer service representatives already either work from home or are located in the Spokane office, Kipp said.